So you’re interested in learning how to code. But where do you start?
The process is going to be intense, so before you set out you need to know a few things. If you don’t figure out some fundamentals before you start learning, you may get frustrated and give up. Don’t worry though, anyone can learn how to do code, even those without a tech background.
Once you know what to do, the learning process becomes much easier.
Want to find out what you should know to be successful in your coding journey?
Keep reading for eight tips that will make coding for beginners a breeze.
1. Know What You Want to Create
Before you start learning skills or a language, you should know what you want to create.
Do you want to build mobile apps? Create websites? Or even develop software or a game?
There’s no right or wrong answer here. Just be mindful of whatever you do decide to create. When you know what the programming will be used for, learning it will become easier.
This leads to you being more focused and paying more attention when you begin.
You can of course just learn a programming language for fun. However, that means your approach will be different.
2. Pick Your Tech Carefully
Being a good coder doesn’t mean knowing a specific language inside out. It’s knowing how to code. If you are good, you can learn any language you need for a project in short time.
First, though, you’ll need to take time and decide what technology or language you want to start with.
You’ve already picked what you want to create, and this will limit the possible technologies to a certain subset. If you are coding for the internet, there are endless languages you can use, including Ruby, Go, Python, PHP and more.
When making your decision, research each choice and weigh it against your goals. Look at how easy it is to get support, if there’s a good community of developers, and for free development tools.
3. Start a Course Online
Ok, now it’s time to actually start coding!
Learning coding for beginners means sorting through all of the many courses out there that claim to be the best. The web is packed full of guides and tutorials you can use. No matter the language, a wealth of information is out there to explore.
However, before you get overwhelmed, remember these things.
Find a course that gives a deep dive into a language, rather than briefly skimming the surface of several. If not you’ll be left knowing a little about a lot of things but unable to program.
Your choices for web development will be slightly different. For that, find a course that covers several different programming languages.
4. Track Your Learning
One of the major coding tips for beginners is to set small, realistic targets as you learn.
You may get excited and want to create something huge from the start. Don’t get carried away. You won’t necessarily create the next Google on day one.
Keep yourself motivated by setting small milestones you can check off. Write a program that only does one thing. Doing this can inspire you to create the next one.
With each bit of progress, you are adding skills to your arsenal. Then comes the bigger projects and solving more complex problems with code.
Think of it as building a tower with a strong foundation. Block by block, you’ll keep progressing, until one day you’ve completed the Empire State Building.
5. Stay Interested
If you get bored while learning to code, it may be as a result of your learning method. It could also be that you are working on the wrong project.
Always remember to keep yourself motivated by working on what you’re interested in. If you came into coding with a passion to build an app to do something specific, keep working on that.
6. Don’t Just Code, Build Solutions
Working on pure theory alone gets boring. It’s out in the real world that your coding work is really going to matter. Once you’ve learned enough, the coding is the easy part.
In order to master this craft, you’ll have to think of your coding as a tool to solve a real problem. You’ll become a great coder only when you start to understand what problems people need coding to solve.
This leads to the next item, learning to work with others.
7. Learn to Work with Others
The “lone coder” is more of a myth than a reality. All substantial projects usually require a team. Working with others is also a great way to learn new things.
Hang around more experienced engineers and be open to getting feedback. When your code is reviewed by others, you catch your mistakes early on. Don’t be afraid of making an error, as it’s a natural part of learning.
Try local meetups to meet other coders or virtual resources like Slack and IRC channels.
8. Practice Makes Perfect
In addition to learning from tutorials, you should be working on your own projects. Coding is a skill like any other and it needs practice in order to perfect it.
Again, it’s fine to fail, as the whole core of coding is to fix things. Work on areas where you know you’re not as strong.
Keep in contact with your network of fellow developers. You can use them as a sounding board for concepts you may struggle with on your own. They can also help by reviewing your code.
How to Start Learning Coding
As you continue coding, keep in mind you’re doing this to learn. Don’t rush yourself or use a hack to get something to work. Take your time and learn how to do things the right way.
Remember, sweating the details is something a good coder does.
Now that you know how to get started on your coding journey, check out our blog. We’ve got lots of coding tips for beginners on our site.